The Ins and Outs of Coupons

How to Determine which Coupon Offers a Better Savings

It’s certainly great to get coupons in the mail. Nearly every week I receive at least one coupon for a clothing or grocery store. Being mailed these coupons directly can be a real timesaver and easy way to save money, but don’t always assume that the offer presented is the best offer you can find. I recently got a coupon good for either 15% or 20% off my purchases to a clothing store. The catch was that I was required to purchase at least either $75 or $150 in merchandise respectively to qualify for either discount. I was convinced that there had to be better coupons out there.

It’s Not Just “Junk” Mail

Sometimes coupons you can receive via email or print off websites can be a valuable way to save money. If a store you like to shop at offers an email list for customers to sign up for, you should definitely take advantage of that. Certain coupons are only distributed via email, and these savings can be quite substantial.

Things to Consider

Keep in mind that in many cases you won’t be able to combine coupons. If you have multiple coupons for one specific store and the store won’t let you combine coupons, then use whatever coupon gives you a better savings.

If you have a coupon for 20% off your order of $100 or more, and you’ve bought $100 in merchandise, then you’ll actually save $20. However, if you have a coupon that allows you to save $25 off a $100 order, you’re better off using the $25 coupon. If you are spending up to and including $125, then the $25 coupon will be your best choice. For any purchase that is more than $125, the 20% off coupon will be the better option. This is just one particular example, but there are several possible scenarios when you are trying to decide between two coupons.

If you have two coupons that will result in a similar savings, always use the coupon with the earlier expiration date first. Then hold onto the coupon with a later expiration date for a future purchase.